Common Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Author Russell H Ewing once said, “A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group.” 

Becoming a leader in a workplace comes with responsibilities, not just an opportunity to exercise your new authority on others. You’re in charge of managing the team, fostering collaborative efforts, and keeping morale up when things get hard, busy, and stressful in your department. 

If you want your company to grow, then your employees and team members must also have room to grow. Providing them with opportunities to learn, work together, and take pride in the work that they do, will drive successful results and numbers in the long run. If one team member is underperforming, it’s your job to figure out the reason for it and do everything you can to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to succeed. 

As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” 

Here are a few mistakes many people make and how to fix them when confusing the term “boss” with “leader” in the workplace. 

Not Accepting Your Failures 

Arnold H. Glasow said, “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” 

A good leader needs to stand up for their team and not let their ego get in the way of their shortcomings. Having a know-it-all personality doesn’t leave room for new ideas or innovative solutions. Employees need to know that failure is a part of the job, no matter what level of management you’re at. What matters is how you recover from failure. 

Show your team humility, don’t gloss things over or hide the mistakes that you make. We are all human, and it allows your team to better connect with you as a mentor if you can work through it together. You must walk the talk to show your team that you mean businesses and that you’re all in this together. 

Avoiding Conflict Situations 

If there is a discrepancy or rough patch amongst your team, it’s your responsibility to confront it head-on, not avoid it and let the situation grow out of hand. Take time to listen to all sides of the issue, don’t take sides, and don’t lay the blame on any particular party. Instead, look for solutions that will fix the problem and open the communication channels amongst you and your team. 

Not Having Faith In your Team 

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish,” Sam Walton. 

Many leaders micromanage, avoid delegating tasks, or complete their employee’s work when it falls short of standards. This creates a cycle of bad habits for your team, not completing work to the best of their abilities, and also adds a pile of work to your already towering list of to-dos. Take the time to provide your team with feedback, positive and negative, and arm them with the knowledge they need to challenge the next project and complete it successfully. When they do succeed, let them know it. Working alongside them to ensure your team is working together and feeling empowered in their positions will set them up for success and allow them to thrive within the company.

Being Too Friendly 

While you want your team to know that you’re approachable and transparent, you’re also there to make the tough decisions, not be everyone’s friend. It’s crucial to manage and balance the fine line of friendship and leadership to maintain a level of authority, while also showing your team that you care and want to get to know them on a level that surpasses small talk.

Hurrying the Recruitment Process 

It’s important to recognize when your team is stretched too thin, and you need to make a new hire. Being proactive in this, and looking ahead to find a candidate that will fit with your team, while also bringing with them new qualifications that will take your business to the next level will be extremely beneficial to all parties involved. Making a quick hire can be detrimental to your team, company, and the success of your projects while wasting time on both ends. Look at the workload of your team and proactively begin your search before you know you’ll need to make the hire. This way, you can gain a candidate that will enhance your team and take on the workload that is required.

Not Believing In Yourself 

You were given this position because someone else had faith that you were ready for the responsibility, and you would thrive in the role. If you don’t have faith in yourself, neither will your team. Gain their trust, be honest, and be confident that you’re meant to be in a position of influence.

If you feel you have more to learn, feel free to contact us, and we will guide you through an extensive leadership training course that will assess your personality and work preferences, before giving you the tools you need to become the ultimate leader within your company! 

Contact us to book your free consultation today – your future starts now!

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